Monday, November 26, 2012

Finally–we’re “out West”

We had a GREAT time staying one night in the shop of Little House Customs for Larry Gamble to install a rear receiver hitch on the Casita (to hold a cargo shelf for our generator & eventually 2 6-volt batteries), replace the shower p-trap & operating handle with a HP-V (one-way only [down & out] valve) underneath on the outside, & fix a plug for our battery to connect the solar panel to that we ordered & had shipped to his shop (more details on that later). His shop is in a very wooded location, so pulling the Casita into & out of his site showed how tight of a campsite we can get into.

We had planned to travel south thru the Texas Hill Country initially — but our plans changed with an unexpected phone call. Jeff got a call from a resort owner west of Ft Collins CO looking for a workkamping couple to help run her food concession trailer next summer. Although this past summer was very hot, the drought kept the humidity tolerable most of the summer — but it still had us missing Colorado from our 2010 summer. In spite of how much I disliked working in the campground café this past summer, the position in CO had several things to offer & very little of the annoying duties I want to stay away from. So, we took off for Colorado to see if we liked this place!

We traveled Hwy 287 northwest all the way from NE of Dallas to Denver (it piggy backed I-70). The first travel day, we made it to the Ole Towne Cotton Gin RV Park, somewhere southeast of Amarillo. It was a nice, neat little park with some long-time residents. We had full hookups, internet, & cable. We’d stay there again.

The next day, continuing on Hwy 287, we made it to Lamar CO to the Sportsman’s RV Park. It was initially a KOA campground, so the office/bathrooms were the same familiar layout as the ex-KOA campground we worked at in Pagosa Springs. Nice, neat, & relatively quiet to be right along a highway. We’d stay there again also. I got this gorgeous sunset photo that evening.

Thanksgiving Day we traveled another five hours or so & finally made it to our destination — Archer's Poudre River Resort. We traveled 30 some miles on Hwy 14 west from Ft Collins CO thru the Poudre River Canyon. We saw evidence of last summer’s horrible fires in the area, but the resort was located farther west from the fires & untouched. It was a fantastic, curvy road thru a very steep canyon, following along the Poudre River. Wow, so much for the long, l o n g views in west TX & Oklahoma!

Shortly after arriving at the Resort, we joined the owner & several other couples for a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner. I’ve had some memorable Thanksgiving Days before & this ranks right up there with some of the most unusual but pleasant. We had a quiet, long rest that night.

The next day we toured the food trailer & discussed the details of the job. We like working a 3-day weekend (off 4 days), 10am – 6pm (no split shift), small space, not a lot of walking (mostly standing), & no tables to clean or floors to sweep/mop. The resort provides internet & Dish TV — but has NO CELL FON SERVICE! Currently I call my parents practically every evening. Any number of things can change by next May, but I’m researching ways to make phone calls to a landline using VOIP. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Friday (Black Friday) we traveled west on Hwy 14 out of the Poudre River Canyon to Walden CO, then south on Hwy 125. My camera finger had another good day’s workout! We took Hwy 40 then to finally pick up I-70 west at Empire CO. We went by several ski communities, & there was enough snow on the surrounding mountains to have a good crowd. We finally stopped at the River Dance RV Resort, just west of Gypsum CO (right along side I-70). We could hear an occasional truck passing, but we were too tired to worry much about road noise. We had frost all over everything the next morning. The Park is right along side the Colorado (I think) River, but we didn’t take time to check it out.


Saturday, we continued west on I-70. OMG, OMG, OMG, the Glenwood Springs Canyon is just so fantastic — one awesome view after another. We passed thru another canyon that was also amazing before finally getting into Utah. We headed south then on Hwy 128 toward Moab UT.

We hadn’t initially planned to visit Colorado or Utah this winter, but when deciding whether or not to make the trip to check out the Ft Collins resort, we knew we wouldn’t want to be in these areas next Feb/Mar on our way BACK to MO. So reversing our “plan” to see some northern areas now lets us see Big Bend TX & the TX Hill Country next Spring when it’s still really cold in CO/UT.

The road into Moab is another OMG — where’s my camera experience!

We’re taking a few day’s break from traveling (or sightseeing) at Ron’s Pack Creek RV Park in Moab. We need to get organized, & test out all the items we’ll use boondocking in the nearby free campgrounds. The longest we’ve parked in one location since leaving Branson was three nights at Jeff’s mother’s house, so we definitely need some downtime to stop & catch our breath!! We’re FINALLY starting to feel like we’re actually retired & doing what we’ve been dreaming about.

Click on any of these photos to view my Winter 2012-13 Picasa album where I’m accumulating photos from this trip [there will definitely be more!].


  1. Wow so dreamy...wish it was us this year! Great route...and sounds like maybe a nice workamp job! Your so lucky!

  2. Luv your header photo and really glad to hear that you and Jeff are out in the wonderful west!

    Beautiful pictures!

  3. I use Skype to stay in contact with my Mom from down here in Honduras. It works well if you have a decent internet connection. My friend Skypes me with her IPhone data connection. Not usually as clear a picture, but it is nice to actually see the person I'm talking to. Skype also has an option (not free like the other) to call landline telephones.

    I believe Google has similar offers.


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